Sunday, June 05, 2005

The walk ...

So, as I was saying Diane and I went for a three-hour walk through old, British Bangalore this morning. It was great.

Our guide, Arun Pai, led our group of 12 into old, 19th-century Anglican, Methodist and Cathoic churches built for the British troops based here. We walked up to nearly hidden bungalows tucked away in lots off M.G. Road. These graceful homes and gardens are all that remains of the many bungalows that were leveled to make way for today's modern office buildings (Progress has its cost).

Arun showed us other buildings from the old, British colonial days, such as Mayo Hall -- once one of Bangalore's biggest, grandest buildings, now dwarfed by the skyscraper next to it.

He told us about Bangalore's connections with the finding of a cure for malaria, a Nobel Prize-winning chemist ... and Winston Churchill.

It turns out that Churchill, who was stationed in Bangalore with the 4th Hussars as a young man, lived not far from where we live now.

This is our second Churchill-residential connection. Our first apartment in Brooklyn was on the same block as the one where Churchill's mother, Jenny Jerome, lived as an infant.

The walk ended with a surprise -- which Arun has asked me not to give away.

Arun -- a Bangalorean who has a passion for his home city and its history and has lived in London, New York and Florida -- has just started giving these walking tours. I hope he keeps doing this one and does more of them.


At 1:13 AM, Blogger Mili said...

More 'goods' on Churchill - He reportedly still owes the Bangalore Club 14 Rs in club dues..

At 8:37 AM, Blogger zai5h said...

actually, I believe his dues were written off by the Blr Club about 5 years ago.

At 1:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am doing some research on Bangalore's colonial history. Where can I find Arun Pai? He seems to be quite a resourceful man. Any contact details? Would be very helpful. thanks


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